Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

Vegan franks a hit for MLB fans in 2014

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

We’re proud to have helped make more tasty MLB menu updates possible this season! Here’s a brief summary. (Note that updates are still happening and we’ll have more news and menu additions to share during the next several months, so be sure to check our MLB Venue Vegetarian Guide regularly.)

Many teams/ballparks are following the lead of other parks in offering Field Roast vegan frankfurters (and in many cases, also their handmade vegan burgers, which aren’t yet sold in retail outlets). Parks already offering Field Roast include the San Francisco Giants (A&T Park), Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field) and Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field, which also has a dedicated cart and offers specialty franks). New parks switching over or introducing Field Roast franks this year include the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field has their Italian sausages),  Oakland A’s (O.Co Coliseum), Washington Nationals (Nationals Park), Minnesota Twins (Target Field), and San Diego Padres (Petco Park)… with more likely to follow.

The Field Roast booth at Safeco Field

The Field Roast booth at Safeco Field, section 131

The Washington Nationals’ Nationals Park has a dedicated vegetarian/vegan food cart called “Field of Greens” that offers items including vegan crab cakes, portobello mushroom sandwiches, vegetarian cheese steak, veggie wraps, veggie burgers and more. They are hoping to add vegan frankfurters to the menu there soon, as well.

Nationals Park "Field of Greens" menu board

Nationals Park “Field of Greens” menu board

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field has added Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage to their menu this year, which is very exciting!  (We highly encourage this sausage because meat eaters also express a real liking for it.) The board has the item listed now as a “veggie dog.” It’s offered with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese in the in-seat service. If you get it in general concessions, however, it’s not vegan mozzarella, so if you want it vegan, ask for it without the cheese.

Dbacks Veg Dog on menu

Chase Field menu board. It’s actually Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage.

Let’s not forget all the MLB stadiums that have been selling veggie dogs or frankfurters for a while now, and will continue offering them to their fans. All the MLB teams/stadiums that offer veggie dogs or franks are marked with our veggie happy icon button at the top of the menu listings.

There are only four MLB stadiums left that do not offer fans a vegetarian hot dog: the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and quite surprisingly, the New York Yankees. We have helped to facilitate sample tastings for all these stadiums and continue to encourage them. We know it’s just a matter of time, of course. ;)

Fan feedback is really important, whether it’s expressing appreciation for vegetarian/vegan options already on the menu, or requests for an item not yet available to fans, concessionaires and stadium reps take these comments into account when they consider what to keep or what to offer, so take a few minutes to chime in with your own feedback. We make it easy for you by providing contact information with each listing on our guide.

We welcome pix of fans noshing on their fave fare at the ballparks. And please, let us know if you discover anything that we haven’t yet posted about the menus. Sometimes, we’re notified after the fact, so it’s good to have fans in the stands, looking out for us too.

Happy baseball season, everyone!

 

Bookmark and Share

 

Two touchdowns for vegan options

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

We’re proud to have helped open the door to vegan frankfurters and specialty vegan burgers at the Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field this season. They will be sold from a veggie cart on the east side of the main concourse (exact location still TBD as of this posting, check their listing in our NFL Vegetarian Guide for any updates.) San Francisco 49ers‘ Candlestick Park also confirmed vegan franks and specialty burgers on their menu this year.

“Johanna was been a great resource for the sports hospitality industry and for myself in regards to menu consulting. She has promoted and measured stadium menus all around the country while connecting vendors with service providers. Her services are very valuable for not only to the guests who are looking up the menus but for the operators as well.” – Matthew Krauss, Assistant General Manager and Operations Director, Delaware North Sportservice at CenturyLink Field

When a venue does well with a new item, it creates understandable interest from concession management staff at other large sporting venues. CenturyLink Field joins its neighbor Safeco Field (home to MLB’s Seattle Mariners) in offering Field Roast franks and specialty burgers to their fans. Safeco Field saw a dramatic rise in category sales after switching to Field Roast products several years ago and other venues quickly took heed. With our help, San Francisco Giants‘ AT&T Park and Cleveland Indians‘ Progressive Field also added these items and noted better sales after making the switch. San Francisco 49ers’ Candlestick Park followed their lead by offering these items soon thereafter.

“Johanna has done a tremendous job of helping to implement vegetarian menu selections into sporting venues. She is very enthusiastic and will assist you doing research and product selection when necessary. She has encouraged, and assisted me in adding healthy menu items at my venue which we have continued to increase every season.” – Sandie Filipiak, Director of Concessions at Centerplate, AT&T Park

Interest in plant-based options goes well beyond the vegetarian or vegan population. Just this week Mintel, a reputable and award winning market research company, posted a study titled: “More than one-third of Americans consume meat alternatives, but only a fraction are actually vegetarians.” Veggie Happy always emphasizes the importance of choosing vegan foods that appeal to flexitarian eaters for this very reason. We only encourage foods and brands that are popular across a wide spectrum of consumers. (Translation? Sales!)

Here’s an excerpt from the study:

 In new research released today from Mintel, only 7% of consumers identify themselves as vegetarian, however 36% indicate the use of meat alternatives.

“This data suggests that participation in the alternative meat category stretches far beyond necessity, and creates an opportunity for future growth based on the products’ ability to meet general consumer food interests, such as health, price, variety and convenience,” says Beth Bloom, food and drink analyst at Mintel. “The bottom line is that vegetarians and vegans aren’t the only people eating “fake” meat, meat eaters are also exploring this new found protein superpower.”

Concessions at Safeco Field, AT&T Park and Candlestick Park are managed by Centerplate. CenturyLink Field’s new concession management company this year is Delaware North Sportservice, which runs the concessions at Progressive Field as well.

Fan/customer feedback is an important part of the recipe for change at any and all venues. Be sure to check our Venue Vegetarian Guide for all MLB and NFL listings and to contact your favorite and local venues to provide menu suggestions and/or to offer your thanks!

 

Bookmark and Share

 

Veggie Options Score Runs at MLB Stadiums

Saturday, May 4th, 2013
Our recent release:
Veggie Options Score Runs at Major League Baseball Stadiums

Concessions and Fans Both Win

Berkeley, CA.-April 23, 2013 – On opening day of Major League Baseball (MLB), 26 of the 30 stadiums had a vegetarian hot dog on their menus. At Safeco Field in Seattle, walking concession vendors will be selling vegetarian franks to fans throughout the stands and a designated cart will be serving customized vegan chili cheese dogs in addition to veggie burgers.

MLB parks have a come a long way since 2000, when vegetarian hot dogs were nonexistent on their menus and vegetarian options were generally limited to peanuts or pretzels. Enter Veggie Happy, an advocacy group that spoke up for fans who were bringing their own vegetarian food or choosing to eat before or after the games due to the limited options. Veggie Happy started with one fan, actress Johanna McCloy, who decided to take action by contacting all MLB concession managers and “making the pitch” for veggie dogs and other vegetarian fare. She cited statistics about the rise in demand for vegetarian options and empowered other fans to chime in. Concessionaires took heed and slowly began to introduce veggie dogs with her assistance. Veggie Happy also created a free “Venue Vegetarian Guide” on their web site (www.VeggieHappy.com) listing the vegetarian options at all MLB stadiums along with other professional sports venues.

At first, veggie dogs remained unmentioned in ballpark menu listings and were limited to one stand, sometimes located at the far end of a stadium. Most fans didn’t know they were even offered, so Veggie Happy hosted game outings and outreached locally to ensure awareness. McCloy even fielded comments on a Denver sports radio interview that veggie dogs in baseball were “un-American.” By 2013, it’s become a new ball game. Baseball fans will find such vegan options as frankfurters, sausages, burgers, Sloppy Janes, Philly cheese steaks, chicken fajitas, bean burritos, gluten free snack chips and more.

Ballparks are adding vegetarian all stars to their menus and generating runs for concessions and fans alike.

McCloy believes that adding tasty vegan options with proven appeal to mainstream consumers is the key to success, so she only pitches items with a big yummy factor.To that end, stadiums have been switching from generic veggie dogs to vegan frankfurters that appeal to “flexitarian” tastes. Safeco Field saw a 700% increase in sales from 2011-2012 after making the switch to Field Roast brand frankfurters. San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park and Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field also saw their sales rise. Peggy Kalberer, Assistant Concessions Manager for the Cleveland Indians’ Progressive Field said, “With more and more people looking for healthier options, Veggie Happy makes it easy for fans to plan their visit to the ballpark (by offering the on-line guide). Our fans do not have to eat at home before coming to see a great game.” 

David Lee, Field Roast president and founder said, “All baseball fans, whether we’re carnivores or vegans, Giants, Red Socks or Mariners fans, want to eat good All-American food at the ballpark, and that means frankfurters. We are proud to offer ballparks a real vegan frankfurter that is juicy, bold and traditionally seasoned to satisfy fans cravings.”

For more information about Veggie Happy and issues regarding vegetarian options in MLB (and other sports leagues), please visit: www.veggiehappy.com.

###

Contact:          Johanna McCloy

About Veggie Happy:

In 2000, Johanna attended her first Major League Baseball game and found no viable vegetarian menu options in the entire stadium. She realized that many fans were either bringing their own food or eating before or after the game, so she decided to speak up. She compiled statistics on the rise in demand for vegetarian options and presented her menu suggestions to the concession manager. In particular, she suggested the addition of a vegetarian hot dog.

She contacted every MLB park and offered her assistance as a liaison with popular manufacturers. She also reached out to baseball fans, consumer groups and supportive organizations, encouraging them to chime in. The Veggie Happy website (then called Soy Happy) was created as a resource, complete with an online Venue Vegetarian Guide listing every stadium’s menu and contact information.

Fans started to speak up, celebrities offered endorsements, media paid attention, and concession managers responded. When Veggie Happy started, none of the MLB parks offered veggie dogs. By opening day 2013, 26 of 30 MLB parks offered veggie dogs or frankfurters on their menus, many of them with our assistance. In 2003, Veggie Happy also acted as media and outreach coordinator for the Healthy School Lunch Resolution in California.

Veggie Happy continues to provide consultation for stadiums and foodservice establishments. We have helped to facilitate everything from vegetarian frankfurters and specialty burgers to non-dairy cheese, gluten free snack chips and vegan desserts.

Veggie Happy advocates not only for vegetarians and vegans, but for “flexitarians” as well. To this end, we only promote foods with proven appeal and popularity across a wide spectrum of consumers.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

Enter our specialty veggie frankfurter contest!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Submit your own specialty Field Roast frankfurter concept and be eligible to win two free tickets to a Veggie Happy group game outing of your choice OR a delivery of free Field Roast goodies!  The winning specialty frankfurter will also be available from the Field Roast cart at Safeco Field during our Mariners game outing on June 9.

* May 25 note: The competition has now ended, but we always welcome more ideas if you want to share them.  Our five finalists were announced today.  The winner will be announced on June 1.

At Safeco Field in Seattle, Field Roast Chef David Lee created three concepts: The IchiBan, The Bombay and The Seattle Chili Cheez Dog. The specialty frankfurter recipe usually, but not always, consists of a main cooked melange (teriyaki onions, curried garbanzo beans and spicy chili respectively) with garnishes and sauces.

Easy rules to enter: You can submit your entry under our Facebook post or in the comments section below.  Please submit the name for your specialty frankfurter along with a short description of your concept.  Note that it should have no more than four toppings. Feel free to post a photo of your specialty frank if you’d like, too!

The top five finalists will be notified on Friday, May 25 and asked to submit specific recipes for the cooked and sauce elements.  The winning specialty frankfurter will be selected by David Lee and announced on Friday, June 1.

Be creative and think outside the box!  Help us bring the Frankfurter to a new place in the culinary lexicon!  Good luck!

Bookmark and Share

 

Join our MLB group game outings!

Friday, May 4th, 2012

Veggie Happy will be leading several MLB group game outings to celebrate the yummy veggie frankfurters making a hit in the ballparks this season!

So far, we have scheduled two outings (and more may be added soon.)

  • Seattle Mariners/Safeco Field, Saturday, June 9 at 4:15 p.m.
  • San Francisco Giants/AT&T Park, Friday, June 29 at 7:15 p.m.
  • Check out our Veggie Happy Group Outings page for updated outing information, fun videos, notable endorsements and most importantly, information on how to purchase tickets.

    Veggie Happy is also featuring a specialty veggie frankfurter recipe contest as part of the festivities. The winner will get two free tickets to the Seattle outing and their specialty frankfurter on the cart menu during that game.  Click here to read more about this contest and rules for entry.

    Five finalists will be selected on May 25 and the winner will be notified on June 1.

    See you at the ballparks!

    Bookmark and Share

     

    Major League Baseball goes to bat for flexitarians

    Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

    Our media release, with links:

    Major League Baseball goes to bat for flexitarians

    Berkeley, CA.- Major League Baseball is going to bat for flexitarians this year, offering more vegetarian and vegan items on the menu than ever before. On opening day, 21 MLB stadiums will be offering veggie dogs to happy fans all over the country.

    The consumer advocacy service Veggie Happy remains busy consulting with MLB foodservice directors and facilitating new vegetarian and vegan menu options for 2012. The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field and San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park have already placed orders for a new vegan frankfurter this season. Safeco Field will also have a designated veggie frankfurter cart offering a variety of specialized toppings.

    “Flexitarians” are defined as individuals who eat a plant-based diet most, but not all, of the time. Their rise in the population is being noted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts we will eat 12.2 per cent less meat and poultry in 2012 than in 2007. In a recent survey, the Allrecipes food site found that more than one-third of U.S. households ate less meat in 2011, mostly for health reasons. And a Harris Poll conducted for The Vegetarian Resource Group shows that one-third of Americans eat a significant amount of vegetarian and vegan meals, even if they’re not vegetarian.

    Today, baseball stadiums are vying for the flexitarian dollar. They have come a long way since 2000, when actress Johanna McCloy created Veggie Happy (then, Soy Happy.) McCloy began her quest after attending a baseball game and finding no viable vegetarian options on the menu. She decided to speak up for fans like herself; specifically, requesting that MLB stadiums introduce veggie dogs, as none were currently being offered.  With determination and great fan support, she did it.  She even received endorsements from Tony La Russa, the former General Manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, and celebrities like Alec Baldwin, Kevin Nealon and others.

    “Johanna has done a tremendous job of helping to implement vegetarian menu selections into sporting venues. She is very enthusiastic and will assist you doing research and product selection when necessary. She has encouraged and assisted me in adding healthy menu items at my venue which we have continued to increase every season.” Sandie Filipiak, Director of Concessions at San Francisco’s AT&T Park

    Today, more MLB stadiums are offering veggie burgers and veggie dogs, along with vegetarian burritos, wraps, salads and other items. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Citizens’ Bank Park even offers a dairy and meat free version of the “cheese steak” and a “chicken” sandwich. Already this year, Veggie Happy has received inquiries from ballparks about dairy free dessert options. As plant based foods continue to improve and consumer demand increases, ballparks are doing what they can to ensure a happy and satisfied fan base.

    Veggie Happy hears from hundreds of appreciative fans all over the country. Amy Shaffer of Denver, Colorado wrote, ” I just recently made the switch to vegetarianism. I am planning on going to a few baseball games this season, and since I never looked for them at the ballpark before, I was really excited to see your listing of veggie friendly options.” MaryAnn Beland of Atlanta, Georgia wrote, “I am so excited about the veggie options that are becoming increasingly available at ballparks. I was thrilled to purchase a veggie dog at Turner Field! My part-time vegetarian husband (who would much rather eat a veggie dog over a hot dog) totally agreed.”

    Veggie Happy helps large arenas by providing a unique hybrid of services: consumer advocacy, vegetarian food consulting, and menu promotion. It not only opens the door to viable vegetarian menu options but also celebrates those options through fun events and local outreach. This year, Veggie Happy will lead several group outings to highlight vegetarian menu options at MLB ballparks. Safeco Field and AT&T Park will be among the stadiums on the schedule.

    For more information about Veggie Happy and an updated list of all MLB vegetarian menus, please go to http://www.veggiehappy.com

    ###

    Bookmark and Share

     

    Opening Day, Japanese Baseball and Tokyo Dome Concession Fare

    Friday, March 23rd, 2012

    The Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners arrived at Tokyo’s Narita airport this morning. They will be playing each other Wednesday and Thursday (March 28 and 29) at the Tokyo Dome to start the regular baseball season.

    The Tokyo Dome is home to Tokyo’s beloved baseball team, the Yomiuri Giants, and one of the leading stadiums in the world, with a seating capacity of 55,000 people.  In addition to baseball, Tokyo Dome hosts other international sporting competitions (NFL, NBA and MLB included)  as well as mega concerts and exhibitions.

    Japan is a baseball crazy country and the fans can’t wait to see their native players playing on a home field again. There are several Japanese baseball players returning home this week to play on their American teams.  The biggest Japanese baseball star is Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners.  Known simply as “Ichiro,” Suzuki has been Rookie of the Year and MVP in the American League and has repeatedly been voted an All Star by American fans. He is the also the first MLB player to enter the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame (its museum is located inside the Tokyo Dome.)

    So, what can a fan at The Tokyo Dome expect to find at the concession stands?  Will there be mostly Japanese food?  Will they offer hot dogs and french fries?  What about vegetarian fare?  The answer is D: all of the above.

    We checked in with The Tokyo Dome yesterday and utilized the gracious assistance of Mia Tomikawa, editor at IRH Press in Tokyo, to call them directly with follow up questions.

    Here is the listing of all the concession fare currently offered at The Tokyo Dome:

    Infield 1st floor:

    A Sample of the Bento Lunch boxes available

    Drinks and Snacks
    Bento Box (Lunch Box)
    Asahi BEER SHOT
    Curry Little Stadium
    Gyoza (Chinese Dumplings)
    Tunt Chitta (we’re not sure what this is)
    KFC
    31-Flavors Ice Cream (Baskin Robbins)
    Hot Dogs (Chili, Cheeze, Delux)
    Crabs
    Rice Bowls
    Crepes
    Hamburgers

    Infield 2nd Floor:

    Beer vendor at Tokyo Dome

    Suntory STADIUM BAR
    Drinks and Snacks
    Hamburgers
    Rice Bowls
    Hot Dogs

    Infield 4th floor:

    Hamburgers and snacks
    Rice Bowls
    Bento Box
    Crabs
    hot dogs
    Pretzels
    Convenience Store
    31-Flavors Ice Cream

    Outfield:

    Hamburgers, snacks and drinks
    hot dogs
    Cutlet
    Rice Bowl

    Mia asked if they served tofu/soy dogs or another vegetarian version of the hot dog.  They do not.  Perhaps one of our American manufacturers can introduce one there, if a Japanese product isn’t already available.  Field Roast offers its fabulous vegetarian frankfurters at the Mariners’ own Safeco Field and may even offer a vegetarian “Japan Dog” there this season.  Hmmm.  Pause for thought.

    Let us indulge Ichiro for one minute: イチロー: どう思いますか?



    Bookmark and Share

     

    Baseball fans: chime in now

    Friday, February 10th, 2012

    We can help facilitate samples and distribution of these Frankfurters, among other vegetarian fare. (They're vegan, super high in protein, and extremely popular.)

    Concession managers at all baseball stadiums are now going into full mode of reviewing their menus for the upcoming season.  February is the ideal time for fans to chime in with their menu feedback. March is also key.  If there is interest in a new menu item, they usually request samples and/or negotiate distribution in March.  (They aim to have their main menu set by the end of March and early April.)

    Go to our Venue Vegetarian Guide to get contact information and menu listings for every MLB team/stadium (and a link to the Minor Leagues.)  Send them an email.  Post a comment on their website.  Give them a call.  Spread the word to other fans to do the same.

    If you’re like most baseball fans and enjoy eating a hot dog at the ball game, tell your favorite stadiums what you think about their veggie hot dog situation.  Do they have any?  Do they sell them in only one stand? Are they also vegan?   Tell them Soy Happy/Veggie Happy is here to provide free consultation, including setting up sample deliveries, and follow up promotions.  Not just for their veggie dogs, but for other vegetarian and vegan options!  (They can go to our Foodservice Consultation page for more information.)

    Once the season begins in April, ballparks will continue to consider miscellaneous menu items, but implementation will not be as quick.  If you want to chime in while they are focused on reviewing their full menu, now is the time!

    Let us know how it goes!  Share your experiences with us.

    Bookmark and Share

     

    The Venue Vegetarian Guide

    Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

    We’ve added a comprehensive listing to NFL stadiums as part of our Venue Vegetarian Guide.  Now, in addition to checking your MLB parks, you can find your favorite or local NFL stadium’s vegetarian listings as well.

    In addition, we’ve reformatted our consumer information for easy review.  Titled, “What Can I Do?” this information will help to make your comments and suggestions  to food establishments more effective.

    Bookmark and Share

     

    Eight MLB concession updates

    Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

    We have updated vegetarian menu listings for eight more MLB teams/ballparks.  Be sure to check our Venue Reference Guide for updated concession listings!  The new updates are for the Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, and Toronto Blue Jays.

    Only two of the above teams did not list veggie dogs on their menu:  New York’s Yankees and Toronto’s Blue Jays.  Yankee Stadium’s concession company, Legends Hospitality, has informed us that they are pricing and considering veggie dogs for their ballpark at this time.  However, they are not certain of the real demand, so if you are a Yankee fan and you really want veggie dogs available there, be sure to contact the concession company with your suggestions and comments!  Their contact information is included with Yankee Stadium’s menu listing in our Guide.

    As for the Blue Jays’ Rogers Center, we are awaiting a confirmation that the veggie dogs are not on the menu, as they were there in previous seasons.  They fared well there, too, so we’ll find out if the omission was a mistake, or if they truly have been removed. We’ll update that listing as soon as we find out, but for Blue Jays’ fans, the same goes for you: contact your concession company if you want to ensure they offer these options at the ballpark!

    We welcome fan photos with your fave veggie items at the ballpark.  We’ve got a growing album on Facebook, so send us your pix throughout the season!

    Bookmark and Share